Hundreds of thousands of driverless robotaxis will be on the roads of major cities across the world by the end of the decade, says Mobileye boss Amnon Shashua.
His company pioneered driver assistance technology, was bought by Intel in 2017 for $15.3 billion, and is now developing autonomous cars.
Shashua, who is Professor of Computer Science at the Hebrew University ,in Jerusalem, as well as CEO of Mobileye, says robotaxis will become a necessary solution for cities choked by increasing congestion.
In an interview with the Israeli TV channel i24 he said studies have shown that San Francisco’s 60,000 regular taxis could be replaced with just 2,000 robot taxis.
“We will deploy between 100 and 150 robotaxis in 2023 in a number of cities in Europe and Israel, which will function as a full-scale test,” he told the channel.
“We predict that by the end of the decade, hundreds of thousands of robotaxis will be crisscrossing major cities around the world.”
He believes many cities will ban private cars altogether in the coming years, so that taxis become the default mode of transport for many.
There will be little point in owning a car if many of the places you want to drive it are off-limits, says Shashua.
Earlier this month Mobileye announced it had received permission to pilot its robotaxis in Germany, although fully driverless operation will require further approvals. It also said it was developing an autonomous people mover that will carry 15 people,
The company had hoped to launch its robotaxi service in Germany and Israel before the end of 2022, but was delayed by regulatory approvals.